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Food & Diet

Fruit Frenzy: A Guide to Feeding Tangerines to Your Furry Friend

At A Glance

Tangerines are perhaps the most famous and well-loved members of the citrus family. They’re a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants for humans. But what about our furry family? Can dogs eat tangerines?

Of course, they can! Tangerines are among the few treats you can safely share with your pet. However, before you add tangerines to your dog’s diet, you should know that:

  • Tangerines need to be thoroughly peeled before feeding them to your dogs.
  • Furthermore, tangerines are high in natural sugars and citric acid and shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet.

Last Updated on: Mar 06, 2023

 

While many people are familiar with traditional dog treats, not many know that tangerines can also be a healthy and delicious snack for our furry friends.

Tangerines, also known as mandarins, are a type of citrus fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These juicy and sweet treats are not only beneficial to humans but also provide numerous health benefits for dogs when given to them in moderation.

Let’s explore the benefits of feeding tangerines to dogs, how to prepare them, and what to watch out for. Let’s also answer some questions about whether tangerines are a good option for dogs on a special diet or those who suffer from certain health conditions.

So, let’s dive into the world of tangerines and learn why they are an excellent snack option for our beloved dogs!

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Are Tangerines Good For Dogs?

Now that you know the answer to the question, ‘can dogs eat tangerines?’ is a resounding yes, you should also know that it applies only when fed in moderation.

Tangerines are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which can support your dog’s overall health. The fiber in tangerines can help maintain a healthy digestive system, and vitamin C can boost the immune system.

The antioxidants in tangerines can also protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while tangerines can provide numerous health benefits, they also contain sugar and citric acid, leading to digestive problems and tooth decay if fed in excess.

Additionally, the seeds and peel of tangerines contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. So can your dog eat tangerine peels? Never!

Removing the seeds and peeling the fruit before feeding your dog tangerines in moderation is best to minimize the risks.

According to Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a veterinarian toxicologist, “The stem, the bitter rind, the white peel (the pith) and even the seeds should ideally be removed, although a dog, depending on their size, may be able to chew up, swallow, and comfortably poop most everything in a small tangerine.”

Things To Consider While Feeding Your Dog Tangerines

Here’s what you need to understand before you feed your dog tangerines:

Consider Your Dog’s Health

Before adding any new food to your dog’s diet, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian, especially if your dog has any underlying health issues or is on a special diet.

For example, if your dog has diabetes or is overweight, it’s best to limit its intake of fruits like tangerines that are high in sugar.

Make Pieces Bite-Size

Sure, tangerines are small fruits, but it’s important to cut them into small bite-sized pieces to avoid choking hazards.

Pay Attention To Portions

Tangerines are a high-sugar fruit, so limiting their portion size is important to avoid digestive problems and weight gain.

A general guideline is to limit tangerine treats to 10% or less of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Remove The Peel, Pith, And Seeds

The seeds and peel of tangerines contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.

To minimize these risks, it’s important to peel the fruit before feeding tangerines to your dog. The pith, or white part of the peel, can also cause digestive upset, so it’s best to remove that as well.

But what about the seeds? Can dogs eat tangerine seeds? After all, they’re tiny and can be easily swallowed, right?

Wrong! Tangerine seeds have no nutritional value and are notorious choking hazards for dogs, especially pups.

Avoid Store-bought Tangerine Flavored Products

When feeding your dog tangerines, stick to natural fruit or freshly squeezed juice. Commercially available tangerine-flavored products such as syrups and juices are high in citric acid and complex sugars, which can be harmful for dogs.

So what about popsicles? Can dogs have tangerine popsicles? No, not the store-bought ones.

If you want to give your dog a tangerine popsicle, freeze some tangerine flesh without the seeds and pit, or freeze freshly squeezed tangerine juice in a popsicle mold for a treat you both can enjoy.

Following the above will ensure you are feeding tangerines to your dog in a way that’s safe for it.

Potential Risks Of Tangerines

Tangerines, like any new food added to a dog’s diet, can come with some risks. I’ve answered some common questions on the potential risks associated with feeding tangerines to dogs:

Can Tangerines Cause Digestive Problems In Dogs?

Yes, tangerines contain both sugar and acid, which can lead to digestive problems in dogs if had in excess. Too many tangerines can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, and gas.

The high fiber content in tangerines can also cause digestive upset if your dog is not used to eating fiber-rich fruits.

Is The Sugar In Tangerines Bad For Dogs?

Tangerines are a high-sugar fruit, so it’s important to limit the portion size to avoid digestive problems and weight gain. And while sugar is not toxic to dogs, it can lead to weight gain and other health problems if consumed in excess.

A general guideline is to limit tangerine treats to 10% or less of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

It’s also important to note that the seeds and peel of tangerines contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.

In conclusion, while tangerines can be a healthy and delicious treat for dogs, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. If you’re unsure about adding tangerines to your dog’s diet, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian.

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How To Safely Feed Your Dog Tangerines?

“Giving dogs tangerines in small quantities won’t hurt them and will provide some of those valuable nutrients.” Rachel Hinder, RVT – Embrace Pet Insurance.

This is the second question dog owners usually have after, ‘can dogs eat tangerines?’ To safely feed your dog tangerines, it’s important to:

Remove The Seeds, Pith, And Peel

The seeds and peel of tangerines contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.

To minimize these risks, it’s important to remove the seeds and peel the fruit before feeding tangerines to your dog.

Cut The Flesh Into Bite-sized Pieces

Tangerines are small fruits, but it’s important to cut them into small bite-sized pieces to make swallowing easier for your dog and prevent choking hazards.

Limit Portions

Tangerines are a high-sugar fruit, so it’s important to limit their portion size to avoid digestive problems and weight gain.

A general guideline is to limit tangerine treats to 10% or less of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Let’s look at some simple ways to include tangerines in your pet’s diet.

Tangerine Pieces

  • Simply remove the seeds, pith, and peel, and cut the tangerine into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Offer as a treat or add to your dog’s food bowl as a healthy and tasty addition.

Tangerine Yogurt Popsicles

  • Blend one tangerine (seeds, pith, and peel removed), 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  • Offer as a treat or a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Tangerine & Oatmeal Treats

  • Combine 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of pureed tangerine (seeds, pith, and peel removed), and 2 tablespoons of almond butter.
  • Mix well and shape into small treats.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Tangerine & Peanut Butter Bites

  • In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of pureed tangerine (seeds, pith, and peel removed), and 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter.
  • Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, and use a cookie cutter to make bite-sized shapes.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

dog with tangerines

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Tangerines Can A Dog Eat?

The amount of tangerines a dog can eat depends on several factors, including its size, weight, and overall health. As a general guideline, tangerines should be limited to 10% or less of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

A medium-sized tangerine contains approximately 60 calories, so a 50-pound dog should only have a few small pieces as a treat.

Are Tangerines Poisonous To Dogs?

Oranges, tangerines, and clementines are not toxic to dogs (although not so great for cats, who may have an issue with citric acid), but there are some potential risks to be aware of when feeding them to your pet.

The seeds and peel of tangerines contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. Additionally, tangerines are a high-sugar fruit, which can lead to digestive problems and weight gain if fed in excess.

How Are Tangerines Like Oranges?

Tangerines and oranges are both citrus fruits that belong to the same family and share many similarities.

Can A Pregnant Dog & Diabetic Dog Eat Tangerines?

It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before feeding anything new to a pregnant dog or a diabetic dog, as their dietary needs can be different from those of healthy dogs.

For pregnant dogs, the high sugar content in tangerines may not be ideal. This is especially true for pregnant dogs prone to weight gain, so it’s important to limit their portion size and monitor their weight closely.

For diabetic dogs, tangerines should be given with caution, as they are a high-sugar fruit that can cause blood sugar spikes.

 

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.


Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.